Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Review: Daniel X: A Graphic Novel

Daniel’s parents were murdered when a powerful alien in pursuit of The Book which ranks aliens by their power and abilities mercilessly attacks his family home. Orphaned at the age of three, with mystical powers that he must begin to udnerstand and learn to control Daniel eventually becomes an alien hunter who will seek revenge on the alien who murdered his family. He systematically begins killing the notorious aliens one by one. In this segment, Daniel is hunting Number 7, Ergent Seth. With his band of make believe friends and his supernatural abilities, Daniel faces and attempts to conquer evil.
My first graphic novel ever and I must admit I am a new convert to the graphic novel genre. I was pulled in right away and loved it! I couldn't put it down. Daniel is an alien hunter and for someone who isn’t a huge fan of Science Fiction, the format of a graphic novel works really well because I had some context to help me understand. James Patterson has found an excellent way to engage our reluctant readers.

Review: The Girls

The Girls by Lori Lansens is the story of 29 year-old conjoined twins Rose and Ruby Darlen. As they approach the milestone of being the longest living craniopagus twins (conjoined at the head) Rose decides to begin her autobiography. The story is told mostly by Rose, but Ruby also sporadically writes her point of view on significant events in their lives as well.

The reader finds themselves immersed in the fascinating lives of the conjoined twins living in a small Ontario town with their adoptive parents. The retellings are amusing and at times horrifying.

What I liked about The Girls is how their story was told from each of their perspectives. While Rose was the dominate narrator it was nice to read of Ruby's impressions. The Girls was a novel that truly took me into someone's life that I could never imagine. Ruby and Rose were quirky and endearing characters who will stick with me for a long time.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacob's was our Book Caucus' first selection to read together.

Georgia Walker is the single mother of Dakota who opened Walker and Daughter, a knitting shop, to help support them. Walker and Daughter becomes the setting that gathers a very eclectic group of women together week after week to share the many challenges and celebrations in life. The characters create the true story, from Anita, the spunky widower who encouraged Georgia to sell her knitting and eventually open the yarn shop, to James the father who left many years ago but is back to make amends, to Kat the best friend who over time drifted away from the friendship and herself, to Dakota a determined child who is on the brink of adulthood and the cast of many other women who cross the Walker and Daughter doorstep.

Kate Jacobs has created a cast of characters who are endearing and while they have their own personal crises, help Georgina find a way through hers. The Friday Night Knitting Club is a nice read that reinforces that everyone comes into our lives for a purpose. While I enjoyed the story, I found that I longed for the characters to be more developed. There were so many people with great stories that I wanted to know more about them.

As our first book club selection The Friday Night Knitting Club garnered some discussion, but many of us wanted more character development. I would like to read the next one to see what happens to Dakota, Anita, James and Kat.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Review: Seven Up

I read this as an ebook on my Treo. Janet Evanovich and Stephanie Plum are a fun and quick escape for me.

Stephanie, bounty hunter extraordinaire, is handed Eddie DeCooch's case for apprehension. Should be easy, he is an aging, impotent octogenarian who was once a Mafia hitman. As usual nothing goes to plan and Seven Up is filled with near misses as Stephanie chases DeCooch in a giant white car around town. Then to top it all off Dougie and Mooner, Stephanie's stoner friends, go missing and it all seems to be connected to Eddie DeCooch. Stephanie pulls out no stops calling upon Ranger to help out, only this time there are strings attached, ones that have Stephanie a little hot and bothered. One thing leads to another and mud wrestling, car wrecks, dead bodies, crazy family dinners and hot, steamy moments with sexy leading men lead Stephanie on yet another topsy-turvy adventure.

What makes these novels for me are the characters and the humour, Grandma Mazur has me laughing out loud every time! I leave lots of time in between each novel I read in this series, which is why I think I like each new installment a little bit more than the last.

Review: The Thirteenth Tale

In The Thirteenth Tale, Margaret Lea is commisioned to write the autobiography of the beloved, world reknowned author Vida Winter. Vida Winter is notorious for offering many tales of her life which all in turn contradict each other, nineteen different tales in the past two years. Margaret goes out to Winter's estate in Yorkshire wary of whether the stories to be told will be fanciful tales or the truth that everyone seeks.

Margaret soon finds herself wading through Vida's childhood tales gleaning truth and facing the secrets of her very own past. Their childhood stories are intertwined by the fact that they are both twins. Margaret lost her twin at birth, a loss that she still struggles to comprehend. 

While I enjoyed the story, I did not LOVE the story. Sometimes I wonder if my enjoyment of such multi-layered tales is effected by how tired I might be at the time of reading. Or, perhaps The Thirteenth Tale was too Gothic for me, as it is a genre I don't read often. Either way, I am glad I read Diane Setterfield's Gothic tale, but I will be on the hunt for some lighter reads in the meantime.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Review: Kiss Me, Kill Me

Volume 9 of the Crime Files 
Ann Rule provides the reader with several cold cases of love turned murder. Every crime file presents the story as facts, trials and added information if the case was pursued further in later years. 

This was my first venture into True Crime and first time reading Ann Rule. I was amazed at how investigations have changed so drastically in a forty year span due to technology and DNA.